Thursday, November 16, 2006

Meanwhile, over in Madison...

As WXXM-FM (92.1 The Mic) in Madison, WI readies it's pending all-sports format, set to debut January 1, the format flip is the talk of the city. Syndicated hosts Stephanie Miller and Ed Schultz have mentioned it, and many of the station's listeners are livid. An online petition to keep the format on WXXM has logged 3,000 signers since last Saturday.

Response has been so strong that even Clear Channel-Madison market manager Jeff Tyler has had to backpedal a bit. "We put this station on the air 2 years ago to support intelligent dialogue," Tyler claimed in a statement sent to the petitioners. "We are listening to people and discussing some of the alternative concepts we have to continue to provide these ideas to Madison." Tyler also asked for input from local sponsors that are supportive of the format, and that feel "they are losing a marketing choice." He closed by saying, "We are listening."

WXXM's flip to sports will also create somewhat of a ripple in local radio, as they will assume the Clear Channel-owned FOX Sports Radio affiliation from rimshot rival station WTLX (100.5FM), a station with a limited signal in Madison, but with plans to move closer to the city.

As devoted listeners of The Mic began flooding WTLX owner Craig Karmazin's email box, he finally spoke to Madison-based The Isthmus about the future of his Madison sports station. As Karmazin, owner of Good Karma Broadcasting, points out, the station currently carries one FOX Sports show during the day, Steve Czaban, from noon-2PM (FOX Sports programming does appear on the station during the evenings and weekends). Karmazin does plan to emphasize more local sports talk programming, in contrast to the mostly syndicated approach which will likely be on WXXM.

No mention was made of any potential interest in the liberal talk format currently on WXXM, though Karmazin did consider picking up Air America Radio for WTLX a couple years ago. Since then, Good Karma has been concentrating on sports radio, building up properties in Milwaukee, West Palm Beach and most recently Cleveland, among others. He hired local hosts for his sports talk stations and was recently awarded the rights to Marquette University basketball broadcasts (to be aired on his Milwaukee and Madison stations). So as of now, there doesn't seem to be any plans for WTLX to pick up The Mic's liberal talk format, despite their strong ratings, even though WTLX has rarely appeared in the Madison ratings book.


  © Blogger template Columnus by 2008

Back to TOP